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Chapter 2 - Exam Review Questions.docx

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York University
Natural Science
NATS 1745
Robin Metcalfe

NATS1745 60 History of Astronomy Winter 2012Chapter 2 Exam Review1What motivated the imperial astronomers of Ancient China to monitor the skies Why were they more interested in comets and supernovae than in the planetsThe imperial astronomers were motivated to monitor the skies because the sky was a mirror to the Earth By beeping a close eye on the heavens the Emperor could check what was happening in China They were interested in Supernovae and comets because those are irregular celestial bodies were warnings of chaos at the imperial court2 What produced the Crab Nubula and Crab Pulsar How do we know that the Crab Pulsar is just over 950 years old The Crab Nubula and Crab Pulsar were created by the core of a supernova collapsing Chinese Records provide that the Crab Pulsur are 950 years old3 In what 2 ways does the construction of the Mayan Pyramid of Kukulkan suggest a connection to the sky Each of its 4 staircases has 91 steps which together adds to 365 days of the year At the equinoxes the Sun casts a writhing snake like shadow on the sides of the steps4 What do the remaining openings in the Mayan El Caracol suggest that this building was used for Openings in the observatory dome were aligned with the northernmost and southernmost positions of Planet Venus Allowing the Mayans to track Venus full path in the sky 584 days to orbit around the Sun5 What two celestial cycles are tracked in the Dresden codex The Dresden Codex provides the tracking for the Full Eclipse Cycle and for the Venus Cycle6 Why did many ancient civilization believe that eclipses are bad omens as well as unpredictable Solar and Lunar eclipses were believed to be a bad omen due to the damaged appearances of the Sun or Moon7 What causes the Moons phases What is a lunation What causes the Moons phases is the Moons orbit around the Earth A lunation is the complete cycle of the Moon 2953 days8 What are the configurations of the Earth Moon and Sun during New moon 1st quarter moon Full moon and 3rd quarter moon What does a waxing moon mean How about a waning moon Why are crescent moons seen primarily during the day Why are gibbous and full moons seen primarily at night What does a waxing moon mean How about a waning moon See your notes or chart of the phases of the MoonAt new moon the Moon is lined up between the Earth and the Sun We see the side of the Moon that is not being lit by the Sun in other words we see no Moon at all because the brightness of the Sun outshines the dim Moon When the Moon is exactly lined up with the Sun as viewed from Earth we experience an eclipse bA few days after new moon we see a thin crescent in the western evening sky The crescent Moon waxes or appears to grow fatter each night When half of the Moons disc is illuminated we call it the first quarter moon This name comes from the fact that the Moon is now onequarter of the way through the lunar month From Earth we are now looking at the sunlit side of the Moon from off to the side c The Moon continues to wax More than half of the disc is illuminated it has a shape we call gibbous The gibbous moon appears to grow fatter each night until we see the full sunlit face of the Moon We call this phase the full moon It rises almost exactly as the Sun sets and sets just as the Sun rises the next day The Moon has now completed one half of the lunar month d During the second half of the lunar month the Moon grows thinner each night We call this waning Its shape is still gibbous at this point but grows a little thinner each night As it reaches the threequarter point in its month the Moon once again shows us one side of its disc illuminated and the other side in darkness However the side that we saw dark at the first quarter phase is now the lit side9 What is the Moons phase during a solar eclipse and what is causing the Sun to darken If an observer sees a total solar eclipse where is this observer standing If an observer standing if heshe sees a partial solar eclipse What does a partial solar eclipse look like What will the Sun look like if you are standing outside the umbra and penumbra A solar eclipse when the Sun is blocked by the Moon and casts its shadow on the Earth can only occur when there is a new moon This is the only time when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth A solar eclipse doesnt occur every time there is a new moon though because the Moons orbit takes it higher and lower than the Earths orbit
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